Friday, October 28, 2011

Energy Saving Tips for the Kitchen

Here are a few everyday things we do to help conserve energy and make cooking faster and easier!
Energy Saving Tip - Making Tea and Coffee
You don't need to boil water for tea or coffee. In fact, boiling water loses oxygen, has less flavor-carrying capacity and can scorch green teas and herbs. Stop heating water before it boils and you will conserve energy and have better flavored hot drinks for the winter months!
Energy Saving Tip - Steaming Veggies is Better Than Boiling
Steam cooks food much faster than boiling and retains more nutrients, color and texture. Use very little water in the bottom of a pot for steaming veggies including potatoes, beets, carrots, etc., and cover it to increase the BTUs inside the pot. The thinner you slice veggies, the faster they will cook. Make sure to stack your veggies so that the steam can get through. Always consume the yummy veggie water from the bottom of the pan or you'll lose many of the nutrients.
Energy Saving Tip - Keep Your Lid On!
We do our best to make the most of the resources we have. Keeping a lid on fry pans, pots, cups, and carafes holds the heat in and increases the BTUs where the food is, instead of letting it escape out into the room. It also helps to cook food faster, so it is a win-win all the way around! When frying, we put a lid on for the first "cooking" portion of stove time, and then take the lid off to allow the moisture to escape towards the end of cook time, in order to achieve that crispy, delightful texture we all love! Try this on potatoes and hash browns, and they will cook in 1/4 of the time!
Energy Saving Tip - Cut for Speed!
Veggies all cook at slightly different rates. Beets, potatoes, cauliflower, and carrots all take longer than onions, broccoli, and cabbage. Greens and herbs have the shortest cook time. In order to make your veggies a delightful and quick meal, start off by cutting your hard and root veggies (your longest cook-times) first. DO NOT cube your root veggies unless you specifically need that shape for your recipe. It takes a long time and a lot of energy to cook cubed roots. The thinner you cut roots across the grain, the shorter their cook time will be. Try cutting them about 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick. Put them in your pan and use the time they are cooking to cut your medium cook time veggies, like broccoli, green beans, cabbage, etc. Toss them in second, and while they are cooking, finish prepping your greens and herbs. Toss them in just before you turn off the heat, and cover with a lid to let the ambient heat steam and cook your greens without scorching them. This saves energy, and keeps you from accidentally burning them. Using this method, you can cut your meal-making time in 1/4, and your energy use can be less than 1/4 of average cooking energy. Think of what that can save on your bills!
Good Cooking! 
From the Community at Luminaria Sanctuary

No comments:

Post a Comment